It will be a historic moment for Afghanistan when they face India in their maiden Test match from tomorrow at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. It will be an exciting contest especially given the fact that Afghanistan has some top class players in their ranks. They were granted full member status by ICC last year along with the Irish. The team has performed quite brilliantly in the recent past. Now they hope to replicate their limited-overs form into the longest format.

The head coach of the team Phil Simmons revealed a lot of inner qualities and dressing room talks of the players ahead of the historic moment. There is no doubt about the fact that Afghanistan will be high on confidence especially after drubbing Bangladesh 3-0 in the recently concluded T20I series. It was quite an achievement for the No 10th ranked team against a team who has been playing Test cricket since 2000.

During an exclusive interview with the ESPN Cricinfo, Simmons revealed that opener Mohammad Shehzad is the comedian in the team and keeps the environment alive inside the dressing room. Shehzad is quite a character and can be evident even from his on-field antics. “He is the comedian of the team but someone who always has the team at heart. He understands the game but at the same time can make things funny so that anyone doesn’t take it seriously. Everything he comes across is something important,” he said while speaking about Shehzad.

(Photo by Pal Pillai/IDI via Getty Images)

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He also heaped praises on senior players like Asghar Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi who has transformed as true leaders of the team. The duo has been around for quite some time now and has seen the rise of Afghanistan cricket from close quarters.

Simmons heaps praise on senior pros 

“Stanikzai is a leader among men and he is like shepherd as all the people follow him. Nabi is the number 1 role model of the team from the way he carries himself. All the players look up to him and he is now the senior pro in the team,” added Simmons.

He also lavished praises on spin-sensation Rashid Khan. He has been quite spectacular for Afghanistan in the shorter formats. However only time will tell whether he can replicate his form in the longest format  “Rashid is a phenomenal talent who continues to improve and continues to excite the world,” Simmons signed off.

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